Are Other Canadian Credit Unions Being As Responsible About FATCA as Vancity?

Does anyone know of any other credit unions that are being as responsible and upfront about FATCA as Vancity?
In Understanding FATCA on their website, Vancity says:

While Vancity must comply with the law, we are committed to protecting our members’ right to privacy. By registering as a Local Client Base financial institution, we believe we have significantly reduced the impact of FATCA on the majority of our members. As a result of our Local Client Base classification, Vancity only needs to collect FATCA information and report on member accounts held by non-Canadian residents.

It appears to me most Canadian credit unions have the ability to register as a Local Client Base financial institution so they only report on non-Canadian residents. I would love to know if others are doing this.
Contrast Vancity with Meridian Credit Union::

3. What is a “U.S. person”?
If you want help in determining if you are a U.S. person for the purposes of FATCA, we suggest that you speak with a professional tax advisor. In general, attributes that generally cause an individual or business to be classified as a U.S. person include:
?U.S. citizenship; (anyone born in the U.S. and who has not renounced their U.S. Citizenship)
being a lawful resident of the U.S. (permanent resident); and/or
U.S. corporation, estate, or trust.

And:

6. What type of information will be reported to the U.S. via the CRA?
The following information will be reported:
Identifying information about the account holder (name and address)
Account number
Account balance or value at the end of the year
Certain amounts paid or credited to the account
TIN (tax identification number)

Like Meridian, it seems Alterna has made no effort to take the local client base option, but plans to comply:

Under the IGA, financial institutions in Canada will report relevant information on accounts of U.S. persons to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rather than directly to the IRS. The CRA will then exchange the information with the IRS through the provisions in the existing Canada-U.S. Tax Convention.

Alterna uses the standard definitions of U.S. persons.
We need to find out clearly which credit unions are taking the Vancity local client base approach and which are taking the full compliance model of Meridian. Is there anyone who is willing to take this on as a project?

101 thoughts on “Are Other Canadian Credit Unions Being As Responsible About FATCA as Vancity?

  1. Thanks to Vancity for being upfront about FATCA!
    I contacted Vancity about this as a customer through their online inquiry system in March, 2014. Their Chief Privacy Officer replied that Vancity was “reviewing its processes to determine whether it can qualify under the reduced FATCA reporting obligations”. I believe I posted the correspondence on Maple Sandbox under a comment. Just recently, I became aware of Vancity’s new statement about their status as Local Client Based institution.
    As a precaution, I would suggest that anyone with accounts at another credit union, or thinking of opening accounts with a credit union, consider making this type of inquiry.
    You are right Lynne. We should know if other credit unions are registered as Local Client Base FI’s. Many of them should be able to do this.

  2. @PatCanadian Thanks for finding that info. I wish I lived in B.C.!
    Here is the answer I received from my credit union where I was a member for over 14 years:

    Hello, Ms. Swanson … I am responding on behalf of Stephen Bolton, Libro Head Coach & CEO
    Libro is a full service financial institution and our owners come from a wide variety of backgrounds and many operate a wide variety of business and social enterprises. A great many have dealings with companies and counterparts around the world and significant relationships with US firms, customers, suppliers, etc. Being open to everyone in the communities that comprise southwestern Ontario, we have many owners who are local Canadian residents but also, as defined by US FATCA legislation, “US persons” by way of citizenship or otherwise.
    Thus, Libro is not structured to declare itself unilaterally as a “Non-Reporting” or “Deemed Compliant” financial institution. However, along with our provincial and national level credit union system organizations (Central 1 Credit Union and Credit Union Central of Canada), we are working our way through the recently announced Inter Government Agreement between Canada and the US regarding FATCA and developing the procedures and protocols that will be required for reporting through the Canada Revenue Agency in compliance with what will now be domestic Canadian legislation and regulation. That will include the protections for consumers and individuals as provided by the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
    Much has been said about FATCA’s extra-territorial reach beyond the US and implications for the sovereignty of Canada and other countries. Many of us at Libro certainly have our own personal opinions on that issue but, as an organization, we must do what is necessary to continue to provide quality financial service to our owners in a manner consistent and compliant with the laws of Canada and Ontario.
    Ms. Swanson, I am not sure whether your interest in FATCA is a general concern or if FATCA compliance will directly impact you or someone close to you. I would be happy to talk with you further on this and, if appropriate and at your request, refer you to other Libro staff or other professionals (example: accountants with specific expertise in US taxation) for advice on your particular circumstances.
    Let me know if I have answered your question to your satisfaction and please do contact me if you wish to discuss this further.
    Harry
    Harry Joosten, Governance Coach & Corporate Secretary
    In life, do not wait for storms to pass … but rather learn to dance in the rain!

    This was my reply:

    You have answered my question. I will be transferring my funds out of Libro soon.
    This is a huge disappointment to me. I feel betrayed by the government of the country where I have been a patriotic citizen for 41 years. Now I feel betrayed by the credit unin where I have been a loyal “owner” for 14 years.

    I then checked with your Neighbourhood Credit Union. Here is their response:

    Good morning,
    We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and are more than pleased to provide you with information with respect to your FATCA inquiry. Without implying that you are either an American citizen or born in the United States, I would like to confirm the status of FATCA in Canada which was the original question you asked. Your personal tax residency situation would not alter our response.
    The Canada Revenue Agency and the US Internal Revenue Service have had a tax treaty in place for an extended period of time. With the introduction of FATCA in the United States, governments around the world have revisited their tax treaties with the United States. Very recently, the Canada Revenue Agency and the US Internal Revenue Service have agreed upon an inter-governmental Agreement. With the nature of your questions, you can refer to the full Canada Revenue Agency Agreement here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/menu-eng.html
    When Your Neighbourhood Credit Union receives a new Membership Application we require the following information:
    · An original valid, unexpired government issued photo identification in one of the following forms:
    o 1. Canadian Driver’s License
    o 2. Ontario Photo Card
    o 3. Canadian Passport
    o 4. Canadian Record of Landing
    o 5. Canadian Permanent Resident Card
    o 6. Canadian Certification of Indian Status
    o 7. Canadian Birth Certificate
    o 8. Foreign Passport
    · Your physical address
    · Your mailing address (if different)
    · A contact telephone number
    · Your Social Insurance Number
    · Politically Exposed Foreign Person confirmation (whether you are a Political person with a foreign government, or directly related to one)
    · Confirmation that you are/are not operating the account(s) at the instruction of any third party
    · The purchase of a $10 share, which grants Membership in the Credit Union and a vote as a Credit Union Member.

    So, it seems your Neighbourhood is also not taking the local client base route. At the same time, they made it clear they do not care where I was born. So, I transferred my Libro assets to Your Neighbourhood.
    Unlike Vancity, Meridian and Alterna, neither Libro nor Your Neighbourhood website provides any information on FATCA.

  3. I contacted 9 credit unions that, according to their websites or direct inquiries, only accept Canadian residents as clients and therefore should be eligible to be non-reporting.
    Two were still investigating their FATCA situation when I last asked: Accelerate and Outlook.
    Four said they will be reporting accounts under FATCA: Canadian Direct Financial, Peoples Trust, Hubert, Bridgewater.
    Three are non-reporting: Acheiva, Implicity, Maxa.
    I asked the ones that are reporting what is it about their businesses that precludes them from being non-porting but I didn’t get any replies.
    The only one that has FATCA information on their website is Peoples Trust. They mostly have just copied the CRA FAQ on FATCA and state: “all Peoples Trust clients will be required to certify if they are either a U.S. citizen or resident.”

  4. @Lynne
    By contacting the credit unions at least you know more about where they stand with FATCA. It sounds like Libro has US interests, which makes it better to avoid like the big banks.
    One other option is the small credit unions with total assets of less than $175 million. These are hard to find as well. Besides Vancity, I joined one of these small credit unions in my area (Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union.) They do not have as many services as the large credit unions, but being FATCA free is a real advantage. It is a pleasure to do business with them.
    @What Am I
    Thanks for looking into the nine credit unions. The more we know the better. I would think that it would be less trouble for credit unions to operate as Local Client Based, if they qualify. Raising their awareness may push them in that direction.
    Unfortunately, we need a safe place to keep our money, other than under the mattress, until we see how the lawsuit goes. The banks are no longer safe for suspect US persons under FATCA.

  5. To be a member at Vancity, you must be a BC resident. Yet, their FATCA info page says “As a result of our Local Client Base classification, Vancity only needs to collect FATCA information and report on member accounts held by non-Canadian residents.” My guess this is to accommodate clients who originally lived in BC but left Canada? In these cases, the IGA says the FI must either report the account or close the account. Strange that they are willing to bear the cost of FATCA reporting for those few clients. It would be much cheaper to close such accounts and not have to report at all!
    I’m not sure how the 98% rule works, but it may be that if more than 2% of their clients leave the country, they could lose their Local Client Base standing?

  6. Nova Scotia’s largest credit union, East Coast Credit Union, has determined that it is a local FI, and therefore subject only to “limited reporting” (same as Vancity). No reporting on Canadian residents.
    There’s no geographical restriction on membership. Nothing will likely be posted on their website before next year.
    @ WhatAmI
    The 98% rule is based on the value of accounts.

  7. Thanks Hazy.
    Here’s to East Coast Credit Union with no geographic restriction (Nova Scotia) and Vancity Credit Union (BC). May their businesses grow and flourish. This likely to be due to influx of US person(?) Canadians to their local client based FI’s.
    Any more local FI’s out there?

  8. @WhatAmI Thanks for posting that. What provinces are those credit unions in?
    @Hazy: Thanks for that information from Nova Scotia.
    @PatCanadian: Thanks for sharing information about one more credit union.
    The ones I mentioned–Libro, Your Neighbourhood, Alterna and Medidian are all in Ontario. I think they all limit their membership to Ontario residents, so I don’t know why they would not qualify for local client base status.
    @WhatAmI: People’s Trust is planning to ask all clients if they are U.S. citizens? Yikes! That goes way beyond what they are required to do under either FATCA regs or the IGA. Do you know if they plan to ask if clients were born in the United States?
    Do others have information about what other credit unions are doing? We really need to pull this information together. I really hope someone or several someones will be willing to take this on as a project. Any volunteers?
    I am still in a rehab hospital, but I sent an e-mail to Credit Union Central asking what credit unions other than Vancity are taking the local client base option.

  9. @Lynne
    If you are still in rehab, please take it easy. I had a great fall and nasty injury a couple of years ago. It definitely slowed me down. Your correspondence looks great and no one would suspect that you are still in rehab.
    I can take on further investigation of credit unions in BC if that is what you mean. There are 45 credit unions in BC. They may not all be restricted to BC so will look into that also. I can look at their websites and then call or contact them online for further information on the FATCA issue. I can also contact Credit Union Central for general information on Canadian credit unions concerning FATCA and the IGA.
    This may take me a while as I am semi-retired and no longer in the fast lane. Let me know what you need. Hopefully there will be volunteers from the other provinces.

  10. @Lynne,
    The 3 FATCA-free CUs that I found, Acheiva, Implicity and Maxa, are all online CUs based in Manitoba and insured by the Manitoba credit union deposit insurance which is unlimited. They are available Canada-wide, including Quebec. They all have Ding-Free AccuLink ATM cards and you can write cheques on the savings accounts. These are all high-interest savings accounts, paying 1.8% or 1.9% at the moment. Maxa does not have linked accounts but the other two do (so once set up, you can easily transfer money to and from other banks from their online banking web site).
    I have no further details about any of them.
    Another MB credit union, Hubert, while being a FATCA reporting FI has indicated that they are honouring the $50K threshold. It is online only, no cheques and no ATM, but their eTransfers are the easiest to set up and use. Hubert is not available to residents of Quebec. Their FATCA reporting schedule is interesting:

    Our reporting requirements are:
    •May 1, 2015: First reporting – for year-end 2014 balances (only for accounts > $1 Million at June 30, 2014 and new accounts opened July to December 2014)
    •May 1, 2016: Second reporting – for year-end 2015 balances (all accounts > $50 thousand USD at June 30, 2015; for entity accounts, such as businesses, corporations and trusts this threshold is $250,000 USD)

    I haven’t compared this to the IGA or Guidance, but I wonder if they really only consider the account balance on June 30 and not the highest balance throughout the year? One could work around that ;-). Seems like a bit of a loophole. Of course, if one hasn’t already opened a Hubert account it’s too late because surely they ask the required questions now. They didn’t prior to July 1.

  11. Even when I log in to Maple Sandbox, I don’t see any way to subscribe to individual threads for notification of new replies. Is there some trick I can’t find?

  12. @WhatAmI: There used to be a way to be advised of follow up comments, but I do not see it now. I hope Outraged may be able to look into that.
    @PatCanadian: Thanks for agreeing to look into the B.C. credit unions.
    That is a large number. Is anyone willing to help?Is anyone willing to do other provinces? We really need this information.
    Here is the very non-helpful response from Credit Union Central:

    Dear Ms. Swanson,
    Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, I don’t have the information you are looking for. We do not monitor registrations by credit unions under FATCA.
    Regards

    @PatCanadian Thanks for your concern about my recovery. Yes, I am still in rehab. My fractured shoulder has actually recovered well, but I am still dealing with significant complications to my M.S. My major focus is on very intense therapy daily, which leaves me with limited time, energy or stamina for other things. I am getting stronger every day, but I still have a way to go,

  13. Further to my previous posts about credit unions, Outlook Financial, another Canada-wide Manitoba-based CU available only to Canadian residents, will be reporting accounts under FATCA.

  14. I am delighted and, as a roughly-35-years member, proud to report that Alterna Savings and Credit Union. formerly CS Co-op and formerly mainly in Ottawa but now I believe with branches elsewhere in Ontario, IS IN FACT A LOCAL CLIENT BASE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION UNDER FATCA even though it has assets of more than $2 billion.
    I received today the following reply to my query (from two days ago) to Alterna, which I quote in full as it is (at my request) classified public information by them in their reply. This is a full copy-paste minus only my personal identifiers.
    “Thank you for contacting Alterna.
     
    “In response to your email, Alterna Savings is a full-service, member-focused and community-based financial co-operative with over $2.4 billion in assets and we must comply with all applicable laws and regulations under FATCA since July 2014. In order to  minimize the impact to our members, Alterna registered as a Local Client Base Financial Institutions, and we are only required to collect information and report on member accounts held by non-Canadian residents that are considered a U.S. person.”
    (BTW I appreciate that a phrase in that last sentence, “non-Canadian residents,” could be interpreted as persons resident in Canada but not Canadian citizens, OR persons not resident in Canada that are considered US persons. The correct interpretation is the latter, according to the CRA website’s FAQ mention of Local Client Base institutions, which is much clearer. CRA says a Local Client Base institution “will not be obliged to apply due diligence or report on accounts held by individuals who are Canadian residents.” I.e., Canadian citizen or not, doesn’t matter, they don’t get reported.)
    For whatever reason or oversight, Alterna doesn’t actually mention their Local Client Base status on their FATCA webpage. I’ve written a reply strongly urging them to correct that oversight. Last I checked, their webpage says they must comply with all applicable laws and regs, but they stop short at mentioning the Local Client Base etc after that in the above quote. Ridiculous; with that extra sentence they likely will attract significant business away from local chartered banks, not mention putting at ease the minds of so-called US persons resident in Canada who already have accounts with them. I mentioned these points too.
    FYI, I wrote to them “on behalf of several US-origin friends” mentioning in parenthesis that I am a Canadian citizen and NOT a US citizen nor US resident for US tax purposes (I’ve had a CLN since 1976, actually). So I figured there’s absolutely no risk to me of asking the question about Local Client Base status.
    Since I know some folks are nervous about even writing queries like this as possibly “outing” themselves, I would urge all readers of this thread who already have a CLN, are thus not even slightly at risk, and who also are members of any credit union, to do as I’ve done and ask your credit union, on behalf of US-origin friends and fellow members, whether they’ve registered as Local Client Base and, if not, exactly why not. And report back on this thread. As a member and voter of the credit union it’s your absolute right to demand to know this, and to demand to know why the hell they haven’t registered as such if they haven’t. It’s your organization, its board owes you a reply.
    ASK SPECIFICALLY whether your credit union has registered for Local Client Base status and, if not, why not. If Alterna’s staff were dense enough not to realize the importance of mentioning this on their website, maybe other credit unions don’t get that point (and might even neglect to mention this in an email reply). Don’t just ask if they’re complying with FATCA; even Alterna has said that (see above). Go the extra step and ask specifically about Local Client Base registration. Others haven’t until now, and as a result there has been some mis-information on this and other threads that Alterna might be reporting accounts of Canadian-resident holders. THEY WILL NOT BE DOING THAT.
    BTW maybe there are some good reasons why some credit unions can’t register, but I know for a fact that Alterna has for some years now provided US-dollar accounts in our local branches and also their ATM cards link with Cirrus and Interac (as well as The Exchange, Accel, and Coop Network) ATM networks. Cirrus and Interac are definitely world-wide, I’ve used my ATM card from Alterna to get local cash from ATMs in the US, Germany, Greece and Switzerland with no problems. Neither of these services seem to be any impediment to Alterna’s Local Client Base status.
    Also BTW, a number of months ago I inquired whether someone not a resident of Canada could open an account with Alterna (claiming I was asking on behalf of a visiting friend from the US) and was politely told that Alterna can’t legally open accounts with anyone who doesn’t reside in Ontario. So I don’t know who they in fact would ever have to report to CRA and IRS, unless maybe Ontario-resident members who later move to the US but keep an account here for visits might be allowed to keep the account open. Or maybe snowbirds who screw up and stay in the US longer than 180 days or whenever it is when suddenly you’re US-resident-pumpkin for tax purposes under IRS regs.
    Anyway, great news for anyone living near an Alterna branch in Ontario! And BTW I’ve been a very happy member and client of Alterna since the late 1970s. I can recommend them without qualification, in terms of service and convenience. Maybe not quite in the completeness of their current FATCA webpage, though, but I hope they’ll fix that …

  15. According to their Branch locator on their website, Alterna Savings and Credit Union have branches not only in Ottawa but also in Toronto, GTA, Bolton, Brampton, Kingston, North Bay, Pembroke and Streetsville, all in Ontario of course.
    They also fairly recently bought what used to be (still maybe is called) the Womens’ Credit Union in Ottawa, and for all I know may have bought or are thinking of buying out other small credit unions in Ontario.
    For more info see http://www.alterna.ca

  16. That’s great news Schubert. Why in the world don’t they say that on their website?!?
    My interpretation of what they published is that they intend to comply for Canadian citizens and residents in Canada. Did others have that same interpretation?

  17. My interpretation is that the Alterna FATCA page was published long before they realized they could be exempt from reporting with their Local Client Base. They need to update it!

  18. @WhatAmi
    I emailed them on that point in reply to their email, so at least the guy who emailed me has the message. I asked him to pass it along either to the webmaster or whoever is responsible for the FATCA page content.
    I initially shared Lynne’s impression of what their website currently says (which is almost identical to what they say in the email I quote below, at least down to the part about July 2014. It’s the next “little” bit they don’t have on their website.)
    I won’t speculate about why they don’t say this on their website, other than it’s an oversight or as WhatAmi says that page maybe was written a while ago. Though I do recall getting correspondence some months before the IGA was announced telling me they wouldn’t have to report accounts under FATCA and (if I recall correctly) they had a legal opinion to that effect. The Local Client Base exception has been in FATCA since before the IGA was announced, so I think they’ve pretty-much known this for a while. But maybe someone forgot to connect the dots and edit the web page contents once the enabling legislation was passed and they’d registered as Local Client Base. It’s a relatively large organization, and things fall through cracks in any big organization. Even in the private sector.

  19. I’m just going by the future tense of some key statements:
    “The requirements of the IGA will be reflected in changes to the Income Tax Act (Canada) ”
    “The FATCA legislation comes into force on July 1, 2014.”

  20. @WhatAmI I see your point.
    For everyone visiting this site, please see the cross-post at Brock herehttp://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/09/24/if-this-is-accurate/comment-page-1/#comment-3133693
    and specifically my lengthy reply suggesting that really, there’s no reason any of you can’t do your own emailing to whatever local credit union interests you to get clarification. I don’t see that puts anyone at any risk, and I don’t see why you’d need to wait for someone else to do it for you. But your choice. I won’t repeat a longer comment I drafted for this thread now, because the bloody anti-spam plugin zapped my last attempt and I’ve had it today struggling that that thing.

  21. @Lynne
    Credit Unions in BC and FATCA:
    Here are six of the larger and more well-known credit unions to start.
    Among the “required to fully report” are Coast Capital, Blue Shore Financial, and First West (First West includes Envision, Valley First and Enderby).
    Those considered “Local Client Based FI’s with reduced reporting requirements” are Prospera, Westminster Savings and of course Vancity. These FI’s only report on accounts held by non-Canadian residents.
    I will continue contacting the credit unions in BC and keep you posted. It is not that easy to get this information as the customer service people don’t seem to know too much about FATCA. Several times, I was referred to a manager. Even the managers had to look this up and get back to me.
    I will summarize BC credit union FATCA status, when completed, and forward to Maple Sandbox.
    Please note that I am not a legal or financial professional so everyone should check out their own credit unions to be safe.

  22. @Schubert
    Thanks for the tip:
    “ASK SPECIFICALLY whether your credit union has registered for Local Client Base status and, if not, why not.”
    It has helped me in dealing with the BC credit union inquiries that I am doing. So far, I have not used the “if not, why not” part yet. Just getting answers to their FATCA status has been enough.

  23. Hi PatCanadian.
    Sad to report that earlier today over at Brock, someone reported contacting Squamish Savings “a division of Vancity” and getting a very uninformative and chilling reply to a very specific question about whether Squamish Savings has LCB registration. See this thread, comment by “mettle man” and my replies and his replies.
    http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/09/24/if-this-is-accurate/comment-page-1/#comment-3134802
    Holy Crap if one arm of even Vancity can’t get what Vancity’s main office gets, this whole FATCA reporting thing is going to turn into an administrative nightmare for account holders, FIs, CRA and even the IRS (not that I give a s*** about the latter two’s problems in this regard). Never mind trying to make heads or tails out of whatever data get dumped on their heads. Everyone needs to watch what goes down in their own cases like hawks, and screech if (when) it looks like it’s going down wrong. Maybe with any luck this whole international rube-goldberg mess will collapse of its own weight. Which in itself doesn’t bother me, it’s the “collateral damage” it’s doing and going to do even worse probably, that bothers me.

  24. Yes Schubert … this process is a real eye opener. We have to watch our backs every step of the way. So Squamish Savings, a division of Vancity, doesn’t know it has LCB registration. Mettle man needs to contact the manager and then contact the manager’s boss and so on. I have words for the US FATCA but they are not allowed on Maple Sandbox! It is a sad situation but I think in the end things like FATCA will come back around and bite the US.

  25. @Schubert: A whole lot is already going down wrong–including why aren’t all credit unions declaring themselves local client base. More importantly, why isn’t Credit Union Central educating them and urging them to do that.
    Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union. If they qualify for LCB, why don’t all the rest?!?
    @PatCanadian: Thamks for gathering all that information.
    I am really hoping people in other provinces will pitch in and help us pull together the information. Are there any volunteers?

  26. I’m repeating this post that I made at IBS:
    Personally, I don’t trust FI staff to understand FATCA well enough to simply ask them if they are a “Local Client Base” FI and get the right answer. In my queries, I made it very clear I was asking about their reporting status exemption:
    “It appears from your website that your institution has a local client base, and should therefore be eligible for the status of a “non-reporting Canadian Financial Institution that will be treated as a Deemed-Compliant Foreign Financial Institution” under FATCA.
    I would like to know if you will be exempt from FATCA reporting based on the above or any other exemption provided for in the Canadian IGA with US FATCA implementation.”
    Mettleman got two different answers from the same office, and neither actually says they are exempt from FATCA reporting.

  27. I agree with Schubert’s suggestion to ask “If not, why not”, but I only got one answer from several that I asked, which was “because our parent company must report”. That was back in April, and several months later they are now non-reporting after all.

  28. As reported by mettle man over at IBS, and as I just replied over there:
    After pushing back, mettle man got a reply back admitting (after the local guy called head office) that yes, as a division of Vancity, Squamish Savings is indeed a Local Client Base Financial Institution.
    As I noted over at Brock, and concurring with one of WhatAmI’s points, we can’t assume that all local branch staff or even managers really comprehend what is going on and what they are and aren’t supposed to do. My concern is that if the reporting to CRA is being done at the local level rather than at head office level (where it’s much more likely someone with the appropriate pay grade, training, knowledge and accountability is going to be making and administering the reporting and one hopes the contact-the-account-holder-first-to-verify-indicia-or-get-self-certification step), there won’t be any consistency at all. If this reporting crap is decentralized and deregulated to the local level, it will be a shambles.
    Everyone needs to be vigilant and militant about this. (I made these points about the need for central control and oversight on this reporting, both with the opposition and with the Finance Minister, months before the IGA was announced, quite vigorously, in emails that weren’t generally even acknowledged and certainly didn’t seem to have made a dent in what the Tories forced through Bill C-31. The NDP got the message, but it went over the Liberals’ heads I think, and we all know the Harperites don’t listen to anyone or anything except their own chicken entrails.)

  29. @Maryanne
    It is true their application indicates that Coast Capital only accepts BC residents. Yet I was told emphatically that they were required to do FATCA reporting and were currently reporting on new accounts. It seems some FI’s are quite fearful of the IRS and perhaps do not look into all of their options.

  30. @Lynne
    BC Credit Unions continued:
    The following say that they are Local Client Base credit unions with reduced FATCA reporting requirements: G&F Financial Group, Coastal Community Credit Union.
    Community Savings CU, Island Savings and Aldergrove Financial Group say they are full FATCA reporting and will ask if you are a US person.
    It was hard to determine Bulkley Valley CU FATCA reporting status. Their representative claimed LCB status but said they ask if you are a US person and forward information to CRA for determination. Doesn’t sound good.
    I will continue and finish up with BC credit unions. The ones that are left are small or very specialized. Some are in remote areas. I may just do a sample as this may take too much time otherwise.
    Its best if everyone double checks their own credit union. It seems the credit union employees are still trying to figure out FATCA.
    I hope people volunteer to do other provinces.

  31. Thanks for this huge effort PatCanadian! I live in Ontario but know good work when I see it. How clueless these credit unions are! On the one hand their members are trembling in fear over FATCA (which they could dispel with a clear note on their website). On the other hand they could be a godsend to thousands of people like us who value the lost blessing called “privacy”

  32. Thinking out loud here. Deemed complaint credit unions will be a good thing for pre- existing clients, but won’t new client still have to self certify and fill out applications asking citizenship and place of birth? Anyone know what Van City is asking on new applications?

  33. Hi everyone,
    This took me a while but here is a summary for BC credit unions. I hope we can get information for the rest of Canada at some point:
    Summary of Credit Unions in BC and FATCA Status:
    Full FATCA reporting:
    Aldergrove Financial Group
    Blue Shore Financial
    Bulkley Valley CU
    Coast Capital
    Community Savings CU
    First CU
    First West CU (includes Envision, Valley First and Enderby)
    Integris CU
    Interior Savings CU
    Island Savings
    Vantage One
    Local Client based with reduced reporting requirements:
    Coastal Community CU
    G&F Financial
    Kootenay Savings CU
    Prospera
    Westminster Savings
    Vancity
    Fully exempt (total assets less than $175 million US):
    Columbia Valley CU
    Greater Vancouver Community CU
    Due to time constraints, I did not look into some small credit unions with 4 branches or less and several very specialized credits unions, for example those for non-profits and police.
    Please keep in mind that I am not a legal professional. I am just an ordinary Canadian calling the FI’s and asking the FATCA questions. The CU employees and managers seem to be in the” learning about FATCA” phase. Always double check with your own financial institution. As a precaution, it may be wise to withhold your last name and decline to verify your member status.

  34. @PatCanadian: fabulous work. Thank you so much for seeking out that information from B.C.
    We now have thorough information from B.C., some information from Manitoba, limited information from Ontario and info on one credit union in Nova Scotia.
    Are there other volunteers out there willing to gather information from the remaining provinces and complete the information for Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia?
    @Schubert: Have you learned anything further from Alterna about whether they will update their website?
    Please everyone, we need everyone to help. A few of us can’t do it ourselves.
    We will also need a volunteer to collate all of this information from across Canada after it is gathered.
    Others in the past have said “Let me know how I can help.” This is one of the many ways you can help. Will you do it?

  35. @OutragedCanadian and Lynne Swanson
    I’m sure that you both have already done more than your share toward this cause which we all should be thankful for. Hopefully others will come forward. It can be done anonymously. I did BC credit unions without Identifying myself except with Vancity. Vancity has been quite progressive and very up front about FATCA. It’s an educational opportunity to find out how our FI’s are operating.

    1. @Lynne
      Very interesting… at least Tax Samurai is spreading the word.
      http://www.taxsamurai.com/2014/10/local-client-base-under-fatca-credit-unions-in-canada-an-update/
      I hope we get volunteers to do the other provinces. At present, I don’t have time to take on other provinces and its best done by someone who lives in the province. While the lawsuit is pending, we need to know where to put our money. I am now with the LCB credit unions for the long term and have no plans to ever return to the big banks. I also wonder about the more local banks and perhaps will contact, for example, Canadian Western Bank to see what their FATCA reporting status is.

    2. Lynne,
      Canadian Western Bank is the parent of Canadian Direct Financial, whose website and application form prior to July 1 2014 indicated they only allow Canadian residents as clients.
      I received the following reply in late May 2014:

      We have analyzed our business and determined that CWB/CDF is not eligible under the local client base exception or any other exception under FATCA.

  36. Someone e-mailed me that another BC credit union should be checked out CCEC (http://www.ccec.bc.ca/)
    He says:

    they are the very best one as they absolutely hate FATCA and will likely refuse to cooperate in any event

    A search of their website did not give me any information on FATCA.

  37. CCEC has now updated their website and reports:

    CCEC is a small credit union and is exempt from the FATCA reporting requirements.

    Thanks to ChearsBigEars for bringing this to my attention.

  38. Maxa Financial, an online Manitoba credit union mentionned by WhatAmI, is now asking about US birth and taxpaying status on it’s application form.

  39. Good to see the information keep coming in on credit unions and banks. CCEC is a great find. I like seeing FATCA information on an FI’s website so we know where they stand on the issue. Thanks all.

  40. I finally heard back from the last of the 9 credit unions that I polled (in May 2104!) about FATCA reporting. These all have high-interest savings accounts (1.8% to 2.1%) and are available Canada-wide. Many are Manitoba-based with unlimited balances being provincially insured (not limited to the CDIC $100K), many have good online access, cheques, low or zero fees, electronic transfers, GICs, TFSAs, Canada-wide “Ding-Free” ATMs, etc. More details can be found from the links here:
    https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/chart/
    All of the nine only allow Canadian residents to hold accounts, but only three of the nine are FATCA-free as “Registered Deemed Compliant Foreign Financial Institution – Local Client Base”. I originally expected a much higher number to be exempt!
    FATCA-free:
    Accelerate Financial (and their parent, Crosstown Civic Credit Union)
    Achieva Financial
    Implicity Financial
    FATCA-reporting:
    Canadian Direct Western (aka Canadian Western Bank) (Edmonton)
    Outlook Financial
    Peoples Trust
    Hubert Financial
    Maxa Financial (originally said FATCA-free but in the end are reporting)
    Bridgewater Bank (Calgary)

    1. @WhatAmI
      Thanks for this continuing coverage of the Credit Unions. It’s great to see that some are Canada wide and FATCA free. I hope people in other provinces will do more research on this very important subject.
      I have found it quite rewarding to do business with the FATCA free credit unions in BC and do not think of ever going back to the big banks. Although now I am “simply Canadian” and no longer a US person, the willingness of the big banks and some credit unions to hand people over to the IRS is a big turnoff.

  41. Thanks WhatAmI for doing that. That is a big help. I am still hoping others may be willing to do for other provinces what you and PatCanadian have done.
    Is there anyone out there who is willing to do that? Is there anyone who is willing to merge this information into one record?

    1. This is relatively old news but Alterna and Pace announced plans to merge last April. The resulting entity, operating under their individual banners, would have combined assets of $4.1
      billion with 39 branches and 140,000 members . Pretty big! I’m not sure if that would have any effect on Alterna’s reporting status. I emailed Pace at the end of December regarding their status and received no response. Just wondered if anyone has opened an account at Alterna lately and what kind of paperwork they encountered.

  42. Lynn, Can you please ask the various lawyer whether Computershare Canada, the transfer agent for most corporation and provinces will report information to FATCA? Computershare is a USA company and it store it info in USA, I think Canadian Tire bank does this as well, If you have share with a lot of capital gain and provincial bonds you can just collect you dividend and interest directly instead of being in a brokerage accounts. They will also forward the bond principal when they come due. Provincial payments should never reported and unless you are a controlling owner of a corporation I do not think dividend need to be reported.
    A transfer agent forward dividends and interest if you have the certificates in your name.
    It may be helpful for some people if brokerage firm freezes their assets and ask them to transfer out.

    1. George. You’ve asked the same questions many times. It is not up to Arvay et al to answer .
      Computershare will issue T3s and T5s to you with copies to CRA.
      They will report to IRS if they have a W9 on file.

  43. from Ontario government
    “Domestic (Provincial) Bond Inquiries
    Contact our Transfer Agent:
    Computershare Trust Company of Canada
    100 University Avenue, 9th Floor
    Toronto, Ontario
    M5J 2Y1
    Canada
    General Inquiries: 1-800-564-6253”
    http://www.ofina.on.ca/contactus.htm
    Computershare is the transfer agent for 65% of companies listed on TSX. 300

  44. I made a mistake I guess computershare was founded in Australia
    Lynn, Can you please ask the various lawyer whether Computershare Canada, the transfer agent for most corporation and provinces will report information to FATCA? Computershare is an Australian company and it store it info in USA, I think Canadian Tire bank does this as well, If you have share with a lot of capital gain and provincial bonds you can just collect you dividend and interest directly instead of being in a brokerage accounts. They will also forward the bond principal when they come due. Provincial payments should never reported and unless you are a controlling owner of a corporation I do not think dividend need to be reported.
    A transfer agent forward dividends and interest if you have the certificates in your name.
    It may be helpful for some people if brokerage firm freezes their assets and ask them to transfer out.

  45. Portland They have frozen some trading accounts.
    All I am interested is giving the correct advice.
    It is extremely likely that any Canadian government will use the non withstanding clause on Supreme Court decision if the USA government applies 30% sanctions.
    The Liberal and NDP are allies of Obama
    Former Obama aides advising NDP, Liberals on campaign strategy
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ndp-liberals-using-grassroots-mobilization-tactics-from-obama-campaigns/article22216447/
    No government will accept millions of unemployed people, increased interest rates and devastated personal investment plans so that a small number of people can avoid IRS nasty letters. Russia signed an FATCA IGA in June last year even though they faced lesser sanction because of Ukraine.
    Do they ask if you are A US person for new accounts?
    Are all they interested in Canadian addresses and SIN number.
    Avary & other lawyer John Richardson should know how Computershare is considered and whether it follows USA internal rules or Canadian IGA rules.
    I had a Green Card over 30 years ago and left that same year. I was told it was not valid if I left after 1 year. I even had an I 407 which I lost. I only entered USA with Canadian passport..
    The Canadian government already have given green card holder a get out of jail free card somewhat similar to Lynn get out jail free card. If you told you renounced when you got Canadian citizenship.
    Someone may transfer some provincial bond and see what happens.
    If you ever call Computer share you hear there phone call are recorder and store in USA.
    Th other question up to John Richardson is that on the Canadian government website they only talk about US citizenship. Even though US considers you a US person until you do the exit tax crap. Is that his interpratation

  46. Please note I only went back to Issac Brock site to pass on information to KalC about IRS being so busy. I would not even go there if he was still around to protect newbies. Has anybody see anything from him?

  47. Please note interesting comments entered today on ISB website under FATCA Discussion thread part two. WhatAmI and tdott noted that Canadian Direct Financial credit union won’t open accounts for US citizens. The following is the link to their online application:
    https://www.canadiandirectfinancial.com/Personal/GetStarted/CustomerApplication
    I tried it as well and came up with this reply when checking yes to being a USC:
    “Unfortunately Canadian Direct Financial is unable to open accounts for U.S. Citizens or U.S. Residents.”
    Fortunately I am no longer a USC but aborted the application anyway. This is a great reminder to always check your FI’s FATCA status.
    Apparently this credit union has not opted for the local client based exemption from FATCA or for some reason is unable to qualify. It looks like Canadian citizens who are also US citizens would be denied bank accounts at this FI. Is this not discrimination? Thanks for the information tdott and WhatAmI.

  48. Canadian direct is not a credit union it is an online subsidiary of Canadian Western Bank. It has 18.5 billion assets 100 times limit and has commercial clients. Almost all FFI with business client will be FATCA compliant. Business want to export and import from USA.

    1. Yes, it is a division of Canadian Western Bank. It was referred to on IBS as a credit union but the FI website does not indicate this.
      The main point being made here is that their practices appear to be discriminating against Canadian citizens and residents with US connections. Canadian Direct Financial is denying banking services to these individuals as indicated by the online application.

  49. PatCanadian Yikes! That appears to be discrimination to me. The problem is the Implementing Act overrides the Humann Rights Code and other Canadian laws. I will send this on to Joe Arvay,
    They ask if the applicant is a U.S. citizen. If someone does not consider himself or herself as such, they can honestly say no. However, I think this is the first we have seen this in Canada. I can understand them not opening for U.S. residents but I don’t understand how they can refuse to open for a U.S. citizen living legally in Canada.
    @George Before I ask John your question, have you seen http://maplesandbox.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ComputerShare-FATCA.pdf? This seems to be for UK clients, but ComputerShare certainly is singing the FATCA hymn.
    FATCA and Computer Share information for Canada is somewhat older. but again it appears they are in compliance mode.
    @All: I have been quiet and slow to respond here and elsewhere because I am having new health complications relating to my injury last year and M.S. spinoffs. Please bear with me.

    1. @Lynne
      Thank you for passing this on to Joe Arvay. It’s another OMG moment that this is happening in Canada. Refusing banking services on the basis of national origin / US taint must be discrimination.
      Take all the time you need for your health concerns. I’ve found that taking good care of oneself is the best path for helping ourselves and others. The Maple Sandbox and IBS websites are much appreciated.

    2. Do whatever you need to do, in whatever amount of time it takes, to get feeling top-notch again. You are an inspiration to all of us to keep on trying to wake up the unaware and shake up the governments which created this chaos in our lives … and to keep on donating to ADCS.

  50. Canadian Bank must offer basic bank accounts to all Canadian resident people.
    Check if Canadian Western Bank offer basic bank accounts?
    Canadian Direct may not be considered a basic bank account. It is a higher interest online saving account. They may not want to spend a bunch of money to do the FATCA compliance computer check & accounting even though their parent company is required to be compliant. There procedure is just to refuse American clients. In addition because it is an online bank they can not check people driver licenses at a branch. Usually you need a driver license and a recent letter from government or utility to set up a bank account. I always bring a driver license and my Canadian passport. Born in Canada to Canadian parents. In my case I want them to have my passport information.

  51. I just submitted the following to Canadian Direct Financial:

    I am the co-administrator of the website Maple Sandbox. I am not a U.S. citizen. It has been brought to our attention that your organization will not allow U.S. citizens to open accounts with your organization.
    Could you explain why you are discriminating against U.S. citizens? Many of these individuals have been Canadian citizens for decades or from birth.
    Those who visit our website will be interested in your reply.

    I will advise of the response if I receive one.

    1. Thanks Lynne…I submitted similar correspondence to Canadian Direct Financial this morning. It is posted in a comment under the new post, ” A Ripple Effect Is Here”.
      We have spoken. Let’s see if there is a response from CDF.

    1. Why don’t you do it? I am busy and have already sent correspondence to CDF. Hopefully they will reply and explain why they are excluding US persons who are Canadian citizens and residents.

  52. Here is the response I received from Canadian Direct Financial:

    Good afternoon Ms. Swanson,
    Thank you for your inquiry.
    Canadian Direct Financial (CDF), a division of Canadian Western Bank, is focused on providing our clients with responsive, personalized service in our selected areas of expertise. The information and documentation required to open an account for a citizen or resident outside of Canada are prohibitive to providing the responsive, personalized service our clients expect.
    U.S. citizens or residents who would like to do their banking with our institution can do so through Canadian Western Bank. We offer personal and business banking service through 41 branches across Western Canada.

    Sincerely,
    Lawrence Lorimer
    Manager Canadian Direct Financial
    Suite 3000, 10303 Jasper Avenue
    Edmonton, AB T5J 3X6
    Phone: 877 441-2249
    Fax: (877) 441-2250

  53. Lynn
    Look at what I have written and CDF response. Someone with basic business skills would know that. CDF is not a basic bank account. Credit unions do not have corporate clients.
    If you can appreciate my understanding of business and how the economy works (do not call it economics which is BS): You can see my point that any government of Canada is going to use the non withstanding on the Supreme Court decision, if USA apply sanctions, In fact compared to the original European deal, ours is a much better deal. The Canadian IGA has given you an get out of jail card.
    If you think the non withstanding is a bad political issue ask yourself what happened to the Swiss referendum, The Swiss understand finance and business better than any other citizens. A few TV ads from Canadian exporter will convert the vast majority of people. Canada export hard to move commodities to our closet neighbor USA. We also many import stuff like I-phones. Commodities you can get from a number of countries.
    In addition
    a) Canadian Investor will be pissed off with a 30% withholding on USA investment. People want global diversification. The USA stock has outperformed Canada and the rest of the world.
    b)Interest rates will rise
    c) Tourist will have a 30% withholding on trips to USA.
    The USA will not make special rules for Canada because they will have to change every other countries IGA. This is not going to happen with Democrats and the Republican will need 60 vote in the Senate plus the US Presidency to cancel this law. You may not even getting all Senate republican agreeing to this.
    A better use of a Supreme Court challenge would be the changes in Canadian law due to 1995 USA Canada tax treaty. It also sort of recognizes USA tax law in Canada, but they can only collect from non Canadian citizens (at time it occurs). My understanding 1/2 of USA citizen in Canada are not Canadian citizens. Ensure that Canadian government & court will not enforce any USA tax law for not filling. Let the IRS send people nasty letter but as long as you do not cross border, you are fine. Almost no country has that agreement. Which was signed by the Liberal who are natural friends of Obama. Labour union will push the NDP to go along once they suffer job losses due to sanctions.
    I wish KalC was still around and taking care of newbies at Issac Brock.

  54. I thought I would post this link here as well. Lynne has posted it under the Ripple Effect is Here and it is also on IBS website:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/alberta-online-bank-first-in-canada-to-shun-us-clients-amid-tax-rules/article23186804/
    This article about Canadian Direct Financial states, “It’s discrimination based on nationality,” said Kevyn Nightingale, a U.S. tax specialist at accounting firm MNP LLP in Toronto.
    Those who are concerned with their “understanding of business and how the economy works” might take notice that there are other factors to consider such as discrimination and violation of fundamental human. rights.

  55. Update on Alterna; Last week, a friend visited a branch (which shall remain nameless) to open a chequing account. They still require only a driver’s licence and credit card as proof of I.D., HOWEVER, during the application interview, she was asked about place of birth ! I’ve seen her application form, and there is a line for “foreign taxation,” and underneath in brackets, “list all countries to which taxes accrue and are payable”, with nothing typed in that space. Below that, lines for country of citizenship and residence status which depending on the answer, would be filled out appropriately. There was no direct question about place of birth on the application, but apparently, the Alterna rep had her name on a framed certificate signifying compliance officer training. The online version of the application had none of those questions as of a few weeks ago. Hard to say how that fits with Alterna’s status as a “deemed compliant institution”. I suppose that an optimist might say that it could be a case of local branches not getting the message, or, perhaps their status has changed. Either way, not good news.

  56. @Thanks Cdn. That is concerning. I cannot figure out why Alterna would be asking place of birth or foreign taxation questions if they are local client base status like VanCity.
    I know someone who opened an account within the last few weeks at my new credit union (Your Neighbourhood Credit Union). She was not asked any questions about place of birth or citizenship.
    I still hope there will be people out there willing to take on the project of surveying credit unions to find out which are taking the local client base approach.
    For some reason, Your Neighbourhhod does not seem to be local client based (I do not understand why not), but they seem to be using CRA guidelines which are clear that FIs are not required to ask for place of birth. I also do not understand why all financial institutions are not doing that.

  57. I renounced my U.S. citizenship six weeks ago at the Toronto Consulate and am now waiting for my CLN.
    While I wait, my bank wants a copy of my CLN. I can’t give it to them, of course, and they say my receipt is not good enough, even though the IGA says that “a reasonable explanation” should suffice.
    Regardless I am planning to open an account at my local credit union. I’ve just taken a look at the application form and it asks for my citizenship (Canadian) and then asks “Are you a U.S. person for tax purposes?”
    On the other hand, I am technically no longer a U.S. citizen.
    I’m not sure how to truthfully answer that question. After all, I still have to file a U.S. return for 2014 and the first several weeks of 2015 (up to my the date of my renunciation).
    I was just wondering if anybody else has dealt with this situation.

    1. I have not dealt with the exact same situation but a similar one. I closed all my accounts with the big banks prior to July 1, 2014 when FATCA took effect. If the bank won’t accept your receipt for renunciation, it looks like they are really in overdrive with FATCA compliance. I have to wonder if people could bring lawsuits about this?
      My credit union is local client based so doesn’t ask about being a US person for tax purposes. Maybe you could find an LCB credit union?
      On the other hand, once you renounce I believe that you should not be considered a US person for tax purposes by financial institutions in Canada and could truthfully answer “no”.
      I renounced in December, 2014 and consider that from the date of renunciation, I am not a US person for any purpose.
      I hope others can help you with this as well. Good luck.

  58. Thanks PatCanadian. “Maybe you could find an LCB credit union?” Not in my area, I’m afraid. But I’m paying attention to the questions asked.
    For example, the application for another of the local credit unions asks “Are you a U.S. citizen? Are you required to file income tax to the U.S.?” (Technically, I *am* required to file U.S. income tax returns until I file my final return in 2016.)
    Maybe I can’t do this until I get my CLN.

  59. @Crackermoo: I agree with Portland PLC. You are no longer a U.S. Person for tax purposes effective the day you renounced. So, the answer to that question is an honest and simple No.
    Are you willing to say which bank is demanding a CLN? The FATCA regs and the IGA are clear that a “reasonable explanation” of why you do not have one is acceptable. Your reasonable explanation is it has not been received yet. However, I know that TD’s website says they will only accept a CLN. I do not know if other banks are doing the same.
    One problem you may face after closing your account is that the bank may still report up to the day of closure.
    How did your bank know of your U.S. Status?
    Are you willing to say which credit union is asking those questions?
    Thanks for sharing. Please keep us informed. good luck!

  60. This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I thought I’d report it here.
    I have an RRSP with QTrade (Vancouver-based investment firm). QTrade is affiliated with Alterna Savings, my credit union, and has an office inside the local branch office of Alterna Savings, and they have access to Alterna’s account information on me FWIW. Not an issue for me as I’m not a USC and have had a CLN for decades.
    Recently I met with my QTrade agent in the Alterna branch office, to convert my RRSP to a RRIF. We hadn’t met for two years, so he wanted to update his Know Your Client form. Which we did.
    QTrade’s KYC form has one line (page two, item 6 “Other Interests in the Account(s)” that is relevant to FATCA. It says, quoted in its entirety:
    “Are you a US person for US tax purposes? (Note: A US person includes a US resident or citizen) If ‘yes’ please complete an IRS Form W9 and Waiver of Client Client Confidentiality. Primary Account Holder No/Yes Joint Account Holder No/Yes.”
    During the interview I was asked verbally two separate questions, “are you a US citizen” and “are you a US person for US tax purposes.” I truthfully answered No to both questions. My account isn’t joint, but my wife’s answers would truthfully have been the same.
    At the bottom of the page you must sign the statement “I acknowledge and certify that the information notes above in the Account Holder Information & KYC Update Form is true and complete … I acknowledge that QAM (my note: QTrade Asset Management) can rely on this information until I send written notice of any significant changes to QAM.” (I was also asked the question below about whether I’m a Politically Exposed Foreign Person and a few other questions mainly about my risk tolerance and investment preferences etc.)
    At no point on the form nor during my meeting was I asked where I was born (never mind where my parents were born). I was asked to verify their information on my date of birth, however (relevant in this case for RRIF purposes).
    I was asked to submit photo ID for photocopying and updating in their records. My Ontario Driver’s License was accepted for that (no mention of place of birth on it).
    The US person question appears right after another question that asks if you are a Politically Exposed Foreign Person as defined in Qtrade’s Customer Agreement and Disclosure Documents Booklet, also asked of everyone. I certainly am not one of those, nor is it likely that anyone visiting this website fits that definition. But “due diligence” requires that they ask that question too (unrelated to FATCA AFAIK; their Booklet says it relates to potential foreign money-laundering).
    My reading of the form and the way the agent conducted the interview, is he and QTrade are simply covering their butts and not probing unless they have something on file or you say something that would give them reason to probe on this issue.
    Individual agents of financial institutions (or any other bureaucracy) may always differ in terms of how they misread or interpret their rules and mandate, but my sense is that as an organization, QTrade is not going on a US-person jihad. They just want to cover their butts. Which is very likely their interpretation of “due diligence.”
    In my last meeting with my QTrade agent a couple of years ago, he mentioned that QTrade is a Qualified Intermediary under IRS rules (as are all FIs in Canada that handle US-based investments). It is my understanding that they therefore have been required to notify IRS of US-person accounts for about ten years now, before FATCA, but my understanding of that may not be precise or totally accurate. Anyway it isn’t an issue for me. I am down on my Alterna and QTrade documentation as a Canadian citizen, which I have been since before I ever opened accounts with either of them (and my CLN was issued to me before I’d ever opened accounts with them, back in the 1970s in the case of Alterna).
    I’ve never been asked to show my passport, my birth certificate, nor for that matter needed to produce my CLN, either at QTrade or at Alterna. I’m not about to raise these issues with them, but I did have a copy of my CLN with me tucked securely in my shoulder bag, during the interview, in case I felt I needed to show it. Didn’t need to.
    My best guess is that if any employee of either QTrade or Alterna is asking for birthplace information, they’re exceeding the requirements of their job and arguably their authority.
    I also suspect that the lawyers of both organizations have decided that the “US person” question is legal under the enabling legislation for FATCA and the IGA (what happens after the charter challenge is another matter, but as the law currently stands they’re probably right IMO). Asking place of birth is not required under the IGA, IMO would clearly contravene Section 15 of the Charter, and I suspect their lawyers are making that distinction very carefully. But that is pure supposition on my part and not based on any conversation or written material with or from either organization.
    FWIW.

    1. Schubert, that detailed description of Qtrade’s practices, Alterna, and your commentary was very helpful to me. Though I have my CLN, I resent having to potentially produce it. So far I haven’t been asked, but perhaps that is due to thresholds or type of accounts. One of my credit unions knows I was a US citizen – I spoke with the manager of my branch at great length before the signing of the IGA and passage of the enabling legislation. At that time they did not think that Canada would comply, because of Flaherty’s public letter opposing it in the press. Though I had told them also of my intention to relinquish they have not asked me about it one way or the other – so far.
      Thank you very much.

  61. For the Canadian FATCA you are not a US person for tax purposes. The USA may still consider you a US person for tax purposes
    “19. Does the agreement require Canadian financial institutions to report to the CRA on any individuals who relinquished their U.S. citizenship?
    No. Canadian financial institutions do not have to report on any individuals who have relinquished their U.S. citizenship and are not residents of the U.S.
    Financial institutions may ask individuals who have relinquished their U.S. citizenship for documentation to this effect. ”
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/fq-eng.html#q2-5

  62. 3.29 For the purposes of Part XVIII, a Canadian financial institution will be either a reporting Canadian financial institution or a non-reporting Canadian financial institution. The distinction is important because Part XVIII obligations generally apply only to reporting Canadian financial institutions.
    Note
    from Guidance
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/gdnc-eng.html#Toc390079650
    “There are a few scenarios in which a non-reporting Canadian financial institution must report to the CRA. One example is when an entity that is a financial institution with a local client base under paragraph A of section III of Annex II of the Agreement identifies a U.S. reportable account. In this case, the financial institution must report the account as a U.S. reportable account (unless the account is closed in the year, in which case, no reporting is required on the account or its closure).”
    A local bank may have to report you if they find out you are American.
    A credit check usually has a lot of old addresses.

    1. @George said: “A local bank may have to report you if they find out you are American.”
      George, I believe your last post is incomplete and very misleading. As written, it sounds like you’re saying that a LCB (Local Client Base) credit union will report an account if they find out the holder is a US person. This is absolutely not true. Read the IGA. This applicable section is only one paragraph (one sentence, in fact). It’s on page 40.
      A US citizen resident in Canada may hold an account at a LCB credit union without being reported as long as they remain a resident in Canada. If this US person permanently moves to another country other than the USA, _then_ the CU must either report the account or close the account.
      If anybody would like a 3rd opinion, read VanCity’s interpretation and how they are applying the rules as I have just described:
      https://www.vancity.com/PrivacyAndSecurity/YourPrivacy/FATCA/
      Oh hell, VanCity uses the unfortunate poor wording of “non-Canadian resident” instead of “non Canadian-resident”. Let’s not argue that again! The issue is clearly with account holders who are US persons but not resident in Canada. The IGA does it right and specifies “a US Person who is not a resident of Canada”.

  63. My local credit union made me sign a Fatca Form the other day because I became a new signer on an account. I volunteered on a local organization board, and now sign on their account. I had a little freak out in the credit union (the staff know I am U.S. born, half the people in my border town are, or are born to a U.S. parent) and said No to being a U.S. citizen and No to being a U.S. resident. The next time I went in the supervisor asked me if I’d bring in a copy of my passport because they have to enter something other than my drivers licence into the computer and what they have is my U.S. birth cert (given to them 20 years ago). I told her I would trade a copy of my passport for a copy of my U.S. birth cert if she wouldn’t enter my place of birth. She agreed. She is also a non compliant U.S. person.
    Ugh. I feel the noose tightening.

  64. Mary you may also use the Blaze rule that if you thought you relinquished USA citizen when you became a Canadian citizen you can use that explanation.
    “Unambiguous U.S. place of birth
    8.27 When the indicium found is an unambiguous indication of a U.S. place of birth, the account must be reported unless the financial institution obtains or currently maintains a record of all of the following:
    a self-certification showing that the account holder is neither a U.S. resident nor a U.S. citizen;
    evidence of the account holder’s citizenship in a country other than the U.S. (for example, a passport or other government-issued identification); and
    a copy of the account holder’s Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States or a reasonable explanation of why:
    the account holder does not have such a certificate; or
    the account holder did not obtain U.S. citizenship at birth.
    8.28 In the context of an electronic record search, an “unambiguous indication of a U.S. place of birth” must include identification of the U.S. as the country of birth. Identification of a city and/or a state as the place of birth, without identification of the country of birth as the U.S., is not considered to be unambiguous.”
    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/nhncdrprtng/gdnc-eng.html

  65. A friend told me yesterday she opened an account with ATB Financial. She was asked if she was a US citizen (she’s not) and at the end was given FATCA material to take with her. ATB is an Alberta provincial crown corporation.
    Yep, noose is tightening, all right.

  66. Thanks to Joe Smith, the following article was recently posted on Brock regarding credit unions and exceptions to FATCA reporting. It is quite clear on the three types of exceptions:
    1.the Local Bank exception
    2.the Local Client Base exception, and
    3.the Low Value Account exception.
    It is written by BDO, a Canadian accounting and advisory firm.
    http://www.bdo.ca/en/Library/Services/Tax/pages/Tax-Alert-FATCA-and-Canadian-Credit-Unions.aspx
    Many are concerned about this now. Although I am no longer a US person, there is peace of mind in belonging to a credit union not asking questions about FATCA.

  67. The big banks are increasing their fees. Wonder if this has anything to do with FATCA compliance costs? Please see global news below:
    http://globalnews.ca/news/1938310/canadas-big-banks-rolling-out-higher-fees-on-account-holders/
    This article states “Each of the country’s five biggest banks has recently introduced new account policies and higher fees, or is in the process of doing so.” It doesn’t say anything about the credit unions. I would think a credit union which is totally or partially exempt from FATCA would have fewer costs to pass along to the consumer.
    Anyway, this will certainly affect all Canadians and not just “US persons”.

  68. Also put the following on IBS as comment under Your Experiences Banking Post:
    RE INVESTING:
    Credential Financial Inc., the investing company associated with Vancity in BC, appears to be fully FATCA reporting with no exemption status. I spoke with a representative who says they ask the usual questions about US citizenship, US place of birth, etc. and report to CRA on any reportable accounts of US persons. This even though Vancity credit union has Local Client Based exemption.
    Where do we invest? I have renounced and could invest with them but do not wish to do so. I object to investing with any FI who turns over sensitive financial information on suspect US persons to CRA who then gives to US IRS!
    This is a whole new question to investigate in our post FATCA world.

  69. Someone in B.C. (who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a Ù.S. person) sent me the following in an e-mail. I am posting it with that person`s consent:

    I thought I would pass this info on to you. My oldest son and his wife recently opened a new savings account at the Sunshine Coast Credit Union. They have banked there for more than 20 years – cheque accounts, savings accounts, Mortgage is there, RESP accounts for the kids and the kids bank accounts.Sunshine Coast credit Union is not very big. When they opened the new account last week, the staff member asked them to sign an additional form that she referred to as THE FATCA FORM. My son could not remember all the details but basically they had to sign they were not liable for U.S tax forms. (Name Removed) could not remember if the form actually asked where they were born or if the staff person just asked them that.
    He will try to get me a copy of the form but it sounds illegal to me and worrisome as it is a small credit union and I had hoped they were safe from the bullies.

    I advised the person who sent this that the enabling act overrides all other Canadian laws so it is no longer illegal to ask where someone was born to open a bank or credit union account (even though CRA has been quite clear that they are not required to do that). This happened to a long-time customer (or member whichever word is appropriate), not to someone who is trying to open their first account there.
    I did a search on Sunshine Coast Credit Union`s website for FATCA and got this:

    Your Search for FATCA returned no results. If you are having trouble finding the information you are looking for, please phone us at 1-877-801-9069.
    Did you mean: fat ca?

    This is one more to add to the list of B.C. Credit Unions. It appears this small credit union is giving in to the bully just like the big banks.

  70. At Brock, US_Foreign_Person says
    ” Someone should move @LakeSuperiorGuy comment into the banking experience section about the credit union. This is important info to know… ”
    Thus, here is a cross-post of that comment here — the specific credit union not identified:
    ” I hate to make this worse, but be careful when putting your trust in credit unions as well. I called the CEO of mine and she said they were fully compliant with FATCA rules despite being eligible for the local exclusion! She also said that accounts over 10k were reportable…not the 50k that I thought the maximum was. I told her I was a shareholding member for 25 years. The gist of her answer was “it sucks to be you.” Good thing my call was anonymous from the last payphone on the planet! “

  71. Looks like LakeSuperior Guy did his research. Even when the credit union can qualify for LCB status, I guess some of them don’t bother to obtain this designation. And reporting on accounts over 10K, they are in over drive as well. Good idea to call from a pay phone.
    We can’t be too careful. As I’ve said before, always check out a credit union yourself as to its FATCA status. Some credit unions are fully exempt due to low total assets (less than 175 million US$)although their assets could grow into the FATCA compliance zone. Some credit unions are partially exempt if they are Local Client Based and will not do FATCA reporting on residents of Canada. .Others are fully FATCA compliant and should be avoided just like the banks.

  72. Lynn thank you
    But I think I wanted the thread talking about all the Credit Union not complying. I believe the list came up due to Canadian Direct Financial not allowing American Citizen. They also do not allow Quebec residents.

    1. Sorry I made a mistake
      I did not look back far even to see the oldest comment. This is thread I wanted. I believe it lists Achieva, Accelerate and Implicity not being FATCA compliant. Try and stick this part as an must read important thread.

  73. “calgary411 on September 7, 2015 at 8:44 am said:
    At Brock, US_Foreign_Person says
    .
    .
    “Good thing my call was anonymous from the last payphone on the planet! “
    Lynne
    I think you should tell Calgary 411 and others that if you dial *67 you phone number will not show up. It may not work on all cell phones. Wait to hear message your name and number will not be delivered for this call.

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